Project Outcome for Academic Libraries

March 20, 2019

Original article in ACRL Insider

March 19, 2019

By Sara Goek


Project Outcome for Academic Libraries is a FREE online toolkit designed to help libraries understand and share the impact of essential library programs and services. Based on the model developed by the Public Library Association (PLA), it provides standardized surveys, an easy-to-use process for measuring and analyzing outcomes, and the resources libraries need to leverage their results to effect change in their institutions and beyond. The full toolkit will launch at the ACRL 2019 Conference in Cleveland in April, but you can sign up now and get a sneak preview of the surveys and resources! When the toolkit goes live, all registered users will automatically receive access.

Who can sign up?

Project Outcome for Academic Libraries is free for all academic and research library users, as well as library school students, in the United States and internationally. If you are not affiliated with a library, you can still sign up and receive access to the resources.

What can I measure?

ACRL Survey Topics

The surveys measure these service areas.


Project Outcome helps libraries easily measure their patron outcomes, which are one piece of the assessment puzzle. Measuring outcomes helps libraries understand the specific benefits that result from their services or programs. Outcomes can be quantitative or qualitative, and are often expressed as changes that individuals perceive in themselves. They answer the question: “What good did we do?”


The toolkit includes both immediate surveys, designed to be distributed immediately after a program or service is completed to understand its impact, and follow-up surveys, for use 4-8 weeks after a program or service is completed to help libraries understand if patrons have changed their behavior or continued to benefit as a result of the program or service.

What’s in the toolkit?

Resources (available now): Project Outcome provides registered users with a variety of training resources, including outcome measurement guidelines, best practices, case studies, and more.


Survey Management (available in April): Libraries can create and customize their surveys, enter and track survey responses, and download their raw data all in one place.


Reports (available in April): Ready-made and customizable reports make it easy for libraries to quickly share their results and advocate for their programs and services.


Data Dashboard (available in April): Interactive data dashboards help libraries easily analyze their results. Academic libraries can compare their results across their institution, Carnegie Class, and nationwide.

How can I learn more?

At the ACRL 2019 Conference in Cleveland, ACRL staff and members of the Project Outcome for Academic Libraries Task Force will offer five one-hour workshops throughout the day on Friday, April 12. Workshops start at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4:15 p.m. No advance registration is necessary.


Not attending the conference? We will offer a free introductory webinar, “Outcome Measurement Made Easy: Project Outcome for Academic Libraries,” on Tuesday, April 16 (register here) and again on Tuesday, April 30 (register here). Join us to learn about how your library can effectively use Project Outcome and ask any questions you may have.


Don’t forget that you can also host a workshop at your own conference or event – read more here.


Download the flyer and visit the Project Outcome for Academic Libraries websiteto sign up!


Questions? Email